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JAN
13
3 YEARS

Mel Gibson Film 'The Beaver' to Premiere at 2011 SXSW Festival

The drama from director Jodie Foster will have its world premiere in the Austin fest's centerpiece slot March 16.

Mel Gibson

Head to SXSW in March if you want to get a look at Coco, a goofy alien and a talking beaver.

In addition to the Jodie Foster-directed drama The Beaver, Rodman Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop and the Greg Mottola-directed Paul, festival programmers have added Ti West’s The Innkeepers, Kurt & Ian Markus’ It’s About You and Billy Corben’s Square Grouper to the 2011 SXSW lineup. All are world premieres except for Paul, which will have opened in the U.K.

The annual South by Southwest film conference and festival runs March 11-19.

Beaver, which stars Mel Gibson as a deeply troubled husband and father who resorts to talking to the world through a hand puppet, won’t screen until midfest, on Wednesday, March 16, so director-star Foster can first wrap filming on Roman Polanski’s God of Carnage in France before jetting to Austin for the premiere. Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence co-star.

Summit will release the film, which was written by Kyle Killen, in a limited release March 23 before expanding April 8.

Flender’s behind-the-scenes doc follows O’Brien as he embarks on his 32-city “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” summer tour after breaking away from NBC and The Tonight Show. Paul, written by Shaun of the Dead stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, follows two sci-fi geeks who end up on a road trip with an alien voiced by Seth Rogen. Universal will release the film March 18.

The Innkeepers, from The House of the Devil writer-director West, is another horror thriller about a pair of hotel clerks that double as ghost hunters. Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis star in the Dark Sky Films release.

The Markus’ It's About You is a Super8 documentary about John Mellencamp’s 2009 summer tour across America and the recording of his new album, No Better Than This. And Corben’s Square Grouper unfolds a nonfiction portrait of the 1970s pot-smuggling scene in Miami.

“Each of these films really showcases an artist stretching his or her wings in some way, whether it be a late-night talk show host taking his act on the road, an actress-filmmaker carefully and beautifully tackling a heartbreaking subject in her finest work yet, or a successful photographer trying out a new medium in a new landscape,” said SXSW producer Janet Pierson.

The previously announced Source Code, from director Duncan Jones and writer Ben Ripley, will play as the fest’s opening-night film March 11 before its April 1 release through Summit.

The complete SXSW film lineup will be announced in early February.